The 4 year old eats very few foods. Very. Few. Failure-to-thrive few. Don’t try to tell me about food + children unless you know what I am talking about. Just don’t. Don’t tell me many kids his age are picky. Don’t tell me the typical kid needs 207 exposure to a new food before accepting it. Don’t tell me to cook with him, or to take him grocery shopping.
I’m sad your kid is a picky preschooler, too. You’re allowed to be annoyed at your kid’s typical, maddening food stuff. But my kid ain’t typical.
In addition to the things The Child won’t eat, there is that which he can not eat.
After The Child’s initial reaction to peanut butter 3 years ago, our allergist recommended avoiding all tree nuts. Peanuts and tree nuts (e.g. walnuts, almonds) are different foods. But there are a couple reasons some doctors recommend avoiding both when kids are tiny.
Now that he’s older, we have been attempting to re-introduce almonds. Our strict rule is still that he eats no nuts outside our home. This helps avoid confusion for him, and for the well-meaning adults around him. Most nuts are not safe for folks with peanut allergies.
How’s the almond re-introduction going?
I’ve been able to sneak a quarter-teaspoon of almond butter into his Sunbutter sandwiches. That’s one kind of success. But for him to actually eat an almond? Forgeddaboutit.
Then today…it happened. He actually ate an almond.
“Momma? What are you eating?”
“Almonds. Want some?”
I handed one to him, oh-so-casually. I acted as if I wasn’t even noticing that he was standing in the place where the almonds were heading.
“Are these peanut-free?”
“Oh my goodness! That is such an important question! Yes. All the food we have in our house is safe for you to eat. It’s all peanut-free.”
Then. He put the almond to his lips. He sucked on it.
And he ate it.
And then he ate another one.
I know California is going to collapse because of draught. (It takes a gallon of water to produce ONE ALMOND.) When California buckles, our country will be in ruins. But having another source of protein (you know…if he ever eats an almond again) is a huge goal for us. Huge. Enormous.
I’m superstitious about sharing this moment, since we don’t know if another almond will cross The Child’s lips. But I wanted to celebrate today, now. If it doesn’t work out, Mother Nature will thank us. If it does work out, I can’t make a big deal about it. Or he’ll feeeeel the almond has meaning. And then he’ll never eat another bite.
I’m going to leave this bowl of almonds right here, like a nut fairy. Wish us luck!